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Soft Asian market fails to slow Samsonite sales growth

A soft Asian market failed to take the gloss off a stellar performance for Hong Kong-listed luggage giant Samsonite International.

Buoyed by the addition of the Tumi business it acquired last August, Samsonite sales grew 17.3 per cent to US$2.81 billion in the year to December 31. Excluding Tumi, sales rose by a more modest 6 per cent.

Gross profit for year increased by $242 million, or 18.9 per cent, to US$1.52 billion. Gross profit margin increased from 52.6 per cent to 54.1 per cent, partly due to the addition of the Tumi brand which enjoys higher margins. Excluding Tumi, gross profit margin increased to 53 per cent.

In Asia, Samsonite sales rose 9.9 per cent year-on-year, including Tumi, but by just 4 per cent excluding Tumi.

Globally, sales rose 26.8 per cent in North America (4 per cent excluding Tumi), 16.1 per cent in Europe (10.3per cent); and 17.4 per cent in Latin America (17.4 per cent).

CEO Ramesh Tainwala described 2016 as Samsonite’s most momentous year since its IPO in 2011.

“The acquisition of Tumi fulfilled a long-held ambition for Samsonite, and establishes a strong multi-brand platform to drive long-term growth across a broad range of price points and product categories. All of our regions delivered solid constant currency net sales growth in 2016, and looking ahead, we will continue to focus on implementing our multi-brand, multi-category and multi-channel strategy,” said Tainwala.

“We continue to focus on growing e-commerce as a channel, and net sales in the group’s total e-commerce business increased by 19.7 per cent year-on-year in 2016, excluding Tumi. We believe that the group has the potential to become a significant player in the bags and luggage e-commerce channel.”

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